The White Shadow to gun it
Saturday’s $50,000 Golden Nugget for 2-year-olds at Golden Gate Fields will be a learning experience for both the runners and their trainers. Five of the six in the field come into the race off wins, while the sixth, The White Shadow, was nipped by a nose by a colt who is 3 for 3 in his career.
When Rickey B, who was nominated for the race but skipped it, put his nose in front of The White Shadow in the final stride, it was the only time The White Shadow was not in front in a race. Trainer Jonathan Wong knows Saturday’s race is populated by plenty of speed-loving types and said he doesn’t know what to expect if The White Shadow doesn’t make the lead.
“He’s never been headed,” said Wong, who hopes his Graydar colt won’t respond poorly if he can’t make the lead.
“He’s not the biggest horse, but he’s very competitive. He wants to be in front.”
Wong knows his colt can’t simply be one-dimensional, but he has concentrated more on conditioning than racing style and tactics with the colt.
Both Midnight Special, an easy maiden winner at Fresno, and Tribal War Chant, who romped in his Golden Gate Fields debut, have turned in faster fractions than The White Shadow but will be meeting winners for the first time.
Tribal War Chant, last and beaten 35 lengths in his debut at Del Mar, romped by five lengths, completely turning around his form, in a Sept. 30 race here.
If there is a contested pace in the six-furlong race, Tivan, The White Shadow’s stablemate Mad Luther, and Daddy Jones could prove hard to hold off late.
Tivan broke slowly and raced in midpack in his debut before unleashing a strong closing kick to score an upset in his debut.
Mad Luther, the only entrant to have beaten winners, comes West after a pair of frontrunning victories at a mile at Presque Isle Downs.
GOLDEN NUGGET, RACE 7 KEY CONTENDERS
Tivan, by Indian Evening Beyer: 63
◗ Pace battle should benefit his stalking style.
◗ All six siblings are winners, including a full sibling who won at 2. Dam was stakes winner at 2.
The White Shadow, by Graydar Beyers: 60-61 ◗ Full brother of a winner. ◗ Has opened early in both starts but may not get the lead in this speed-laden field.
Tribal War Chant, by Slew’s Tiznow Beyers: 66-0
◗ Huge improvement in second start.
◗ Rider chose him over The White Shadow.
◗ Steady works in five weeks since he last raced.
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